LOS ANGELES – Once again, there is no timeline for Festus Ezeli. He'll get back to practicing when his body allows, get back to games after sufficient practices.
The backup center is, however, part of the Warriors traveling party this week and discussed his indefinite wait while expressing eagerness to return to action as he fully heals from inflammation in his right shin.
"At the, right now, it feels great," he said Tuesday night. "I really have been busting my tail. Even when I got shut down, we went back to the drawing board and started doing a lot of stuff with strength and conditioning. I'm working on my strength and stability and it feels pretty good."
Ezeli underwent major surgery on his right knee in June 2013 and spent the entire 2013-14 season rehabbing. He was thought to be close to returning last May, before the Warriors were bounced from the playoffs.
Since then, there have been several setbacks. He was expected to return for the team's Summer League team in Las Vegas in July but was sidelined with the shin inflammation a few days before the games began.
Ezeli has spent the past three months pushing himself but ultimately failing to meet the threshold required to participate in full-contact scrimmages; he worked out with his teammates last Tuesday and Wednesday but has been held out ever since.
"I was really excited to be out there with the guys. It had been a while," he said. "Now I just have to wait until my next evaluation, which is later this week. We'll go from there."
First-year coach Steve Kerr has repeatedly stressed the desire to get Ezeli back on the court. The 6-foot-11 native of Nigeria made an impact, particularly on defense, as a rookie in 2012-13.
Now, he simply wants to get past this laborious phase.
"I understand that it's a long year and it's a long process," said Ezeli, who has remained in good spirits. "In a while, we're all going to look back at this and laugh.
"But right now, I just have to stay focused on the whole process of recovery."